Hunting for Boojums

Geranium Blushing Turtle (foreground), Fagopyrum esculentum (Buckwheat, background)

What a year to rediscover the joys and pains of growing plants! I confess it is more interesting to me at this stage of my life, especially watching for interactions between the insects, cultivated and wild sown plants.

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap

Lewis Carroll
The Hunting of the Snark

The garden appears to have moved into autumn already, surely this is too early? Things to plant on, cuttings, decisions, all clamouring for attention as I procrastinate an important mundane world task that feels too big and overwhelming to tackle and indicating that admin is not an ideal career for me. Procrastination that spills over into indecision to tackle anything of lesser importance. There are at least 3 posts I would like to pull together for here.

Then there is the job hunting; not a huge variety of suitable positions and the prospect of being chained to a computer again – paper pushing is the modern equivalent of following horses with a broom *shudder*. I am sure there are people happy to take these positions along with the implied subordinate roles of tea making and front line customer service but it is proving near impossible to read the job descriptions without yawning.

Is it an irony that it is called job hunting when it feels like being circled by predators? I signed up with an agency. I was sent to a position by X at very short notice and met another person there also sent by X. Then the agency boss turned up in a big, black, shiny Mercedes and one large diamond earring, seemed about 30-40 and hostage to his image. Car is probably leased and diamond probably cubic zirconia! Turned out neither of us were required. Doesn’t inspire confidence or suggest a professional organisation, simply a sense of exploitation. They asked me again and again very short notice; I declined.

Part of the procrastination is that it involves a great deal of materials to be collated and catalogued into a cohesive case, that the tools necessary to make this a relatively painless process are unavailable to me and the materials involved are semi traumatic, though that at least is diminishing. Combine that with the prospects of success stacked against me and plus I have become ambivalent about the outcome and that turns it into an epic scale chore. I question whether it is worth the effort required; that could be a subtle form of procrastination lol.

The likely progress will probably follow my usual way of leaving it until the last moment then frantic activity fueled by being annoyed with myself but it will be done, probably. It doesn’t help that I have good organisational skills, as with the appropriate motivation, I can suck up the tedious elements and whizz through it; no it is the sulky, lazy kid resisting the chores who ‘I am’ battling with again.

Everyone has an inner dialogue, which may not be acknowledged or verbalised. It can be the urges for risk and safety pulling against each other creating indecisions; lots of things boil down to those two. I can almost hear Jaysen at – ‘hmm, that’s binary thinking’.

So what is feeding my reluctance? What is the inherent fear? Is it simply fear of failure? But I am ambivalent on the results. Fear of putting in a load of emotional effort for no return? That is a foolish fear when so much of life returns little on investment. And I am ambivalent on the results. Is that, could that, be the source? Or does the ambivalence indicate a lack of perceived value? The source of the ambivalence is the poor prospect of success, yet poor is not none.

So I still don’t know exactly but there are clues suggesting a way through. And that is enough to make a breakthrough. And it begins with kindness. The garden is a solace, even when it looks a mess.

There is a great deal of mystery concerning the meaning of Carroll’s poem, even he offered only that it could, or might be an allegory of the search for happiness. Plenty of others have made suggestions. I think that it possibly means whatever makes sense to you and for me it means the answers I seek to the questions I ask, and with fears evapourating when confronted by the Boojum.

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

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